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Turia on Peak Oil

*Peak Oil*

*Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party*

*Wednesday 4 May 2005*

The Maori Party today announced that it is considering a range of options to best respond to Peak Oil in their policy and operational thinking.

“’Peak oil is rushing towards us and will significantly change life in New Zealand as we know it”.

“Members of the Party have raised their concern that the global capacity to consume crude oil crude will, sooner or later, exceed our global potential to find and produce it. Across the world, we are currently burning more than four barrels of oil for every new barrel discovered while demand continues to rise” said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.

“We have read with interest, the draft emergency plan released by the international energy agency which describes options such as carless days, or a speed limit of 80km/h”.

“We are also keen to pursue further inquiry into renewable energy sources (hydro, solar, wind, geothermal) along with coal and nuclear power as substitutes for oil-gas in electricity and heat generation, recognising that these. will never make up but a percentage of the energy now supplied by cheap oil”.

“This is a situation requiring urgent attention by the Government. Many of our low income workers, say on $10per hour, are currently spending up to 10% of their wages on petrol. Pump price increases to $3 a litre, would result in an unprecedented increase, equalling up to 23% of their wage”.

“This will also include the rise in the cost of living that gets affected by oil, which is a major part of our lifestyle. In many ways, we can see this issue relating to the beginning of an economic depression as the economy spirals downwards as a consequence of the oilcrash”.

“All parties must wake up to this emerging crisis, with no known substitutes for long-distance travel and transportation likely. Aotearoa is economically dependent on continuing oil extraction from wells very far away, along thin vulnerable transit routes, to support our long-range exporting and global tourism, and underlie nearly all economic activity”.

“All people of this nation, have the right to information and planning, to awaken them to the looming price hikes and shortages of oil for which there are no solutions known, only responses which may soften the blows".

“A responsible government would also release plans to support all consumers to knowing how to make the changes to urgency reduce New Zealand’s oil dependency”.

ENDS

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